In this twist on classic peach upside-down cake, sorghum lends soft, earthy flavor that harmonizes with ripe summer peaches, vanilla, and brown sugar and featherlight texture with a meltingly tender crumb for a delicious gluten-free upside down cake.
Brown Sugar Peach Gluten-Free Upside-Down Cake
For The Peaches:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, plus 1 teaspoon, softened
- 1/2 cup firmly packed organic light brown sugar
- 1-1/2 pounds ripe but firm peaches or nectarines (3 or 4 large, or 6 medium)
For The Cake:
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed organic light brown sugar
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup sweet white rice flour
- 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
- 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche plus extra for serving
- 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Butter a deep, 9-inch round cake pan with the 1 teaspoon softened butter and line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper cut to fit (for easy removal of the cake).
Prepare the peaches: Drizzle the 3 tablespoons melted butter over the parchment paper and sprinkle evenly with the 1/2 cup brown sugar. Halve and pit the peaches, place each half cut-side down, and cut into thin slices, about 1/8-inch thick. Set aside the rounded end pieces. Beginning with the largest pieces along the outer edge of the pan, place the peach slices over the brown sugar with the curved edge facing out, overlapping the fruit as you go. Continue to make circles with the peach slices until you’ve covered the pan. Cut the remaining peach slices and end pieces into 1/2-inch dice and reserve for the batter.
Make the cake batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium until light and fluffy, 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in the eggs one at a time. (Don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled.)
Meanwhile, sift the sorghum, sweet rice, oat, and tapioca flours with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl to combine.
With the mixer on low speed, stir in half the flour mixture, beating until just combined. Beat in the crème fraîche and vanilla extract until combined and add the remaining flour mixture. Turn the mixer to medium and beat until the batter is smooth and fluffy, 20 more seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and give the batter a stir to make sure it is thoroughly mixed. Fold in the chopped peaches until just combined.
Spoon the batter over the peaches in the pan, spreading it gently and evenly. Bake until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out completely clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Loosen the edges of the cake with the tip of a knife or a small offset spatula. Invert a large plate or platter over the pan and, using oven mitts, flip the whole thing over. Remove the pan and peel away the parchment paper.
Let the cake cool to warm, 20 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature with dollops of crème fraîche.
Photography Alanna Taylor-Tobin